This is really a kind of stone soup - there are basic ingredients, but most of them can be mixed and matched, used or not. It is by far my favorite soup, and it can be vegan, vegetarian, or chock full of meat of sordid types. One of my favorite ways to make this is with mexican chorizo and shrimp!
1 onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 potato, peeled and diced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced (or minced, but not ever, ever, never pressed)
2 tbs tomato paste
1 cup white wine (or not)
4 cups stock or broth (vegetarian, beef, chicken, veal, ?)
Water (if cooking lentils in soup, you will need additional liquid
1/2 tbs cumin
1/2 tbs rosemary
salt and pepper
2 cans White Beans (cooked) or Lentils (2 cups cooked or 1 cup not, adjust time in soup if raw and add 2 cups water to recipe) or ?
1 head Kale, off stem and sliced thin, or 3 big handfuls of spinich or whatever leafy green vegetable you have
1 lb italian sausage, or kielbasa or chorizo, or polish sausage or ham or even ground beef. Or heck, why not, all of them.
1 lb raw, shelled shrimp
If using meat, brown (but do nothing with shrimp yet)
Add and saute onion, celery, carrot and potato (in 1 tbs olive oil if not using meat) over medium heat. Cook till onion and celery are soft - the carrot and potato will still be fairly raw. Add salt and pepper
Add garlic, cook for 2 minutes
Add tomato paste, cook for several minutes - you want to get the paste to turn a darker color, but not burn
Add wine - cook down to half the volume
Add stock, spinach, lentils and water (if raw), white beans. Cook for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. If using cooked meat add at this time.
After 30 minutes, add lentils if you are using lentils that are already cooked, cook until hot
If using Shrimp add and cook till done ( 5 minutes is more than enough)
Serve - bread would be great, a salad fine.
If you need to boost the vegies even more, add some green beans.